Monday, October 24, 2011

La Girolle ♥ ♥



Published on Manila Bulletin Lifestyle Section, October 23, 2011

Restaurant La Girolle

If not for Manong Security Guard, I would never have found this cozy little French restaurant called La Girolle. It seemed that Chef Ian Padilla wanted to keep his new baby highly top secret. Hidden in one of them high rises in Bonifacio Global City, it has no signage, no arrow pointing you in the right direction, no nothing at all. I had to ride an elevator, go through secret doors and walk through narrow passageways just to get to dinner. Siiiggghhhhh… The things I do for food.


The Open Kitchen


The Chef’s Table


I thought it would be a quiet Monday night, but when I arrived at 6:45pm there was already a long table filled with people cheerfully eating and chatting away. I love happy vibes.


Main Dining Room


Chef Ian named his first venture La Girolle (or The Chanterelle) in honor of his stint at Le Restaurant Taillevent in Paris. His job was to clean all the fungi in the kitchen, not just chanterelles but also morels and every other kind of mushroom. I’m guessing his co-workers loved him dearly as they teasingly called him “Chef Champignon.” In a group of testosterone-filled creatures it could easily be something nasty-sounding like “Master Fungi” you know.


Chef Ian “Champignon” Padilla



Guess who were also at La Girolle that evening…


Chef couple and proud new parents, Rob and Sunshine Pengson of The Goose Station


Chef Rob recording the kitchen action


I started off with a Lychee Martini


Berto and I opted for the tasting menu. Trust me, there is no other way to go. Chef Champignon Padilla started us off with his melt-in-your mouth Short Ribs of Beef Ravioli in the richest, thickest, tastiest beef jus I’ve ever had in my life. It made my tongue all peppy, and my lips all sticky – so sticky that the only sound that escaped me was a muffled moan of pleasure. What a way to start a meal.


Short Ribs of Beef Ravioli in Beef Jus


The courses that followed are very traditional French. The Tartare of General Santos Tuna sat on thinly sliced marinated radish and topped oh so beautifully with black lumpfish caviar and a pretty dollop of avocado espuma.


Tartare of General Santos Sashimi Grade Tuna


The Mille-Feuille of Brie and Ricotta Cheese was surrounded by flavorful bits and nibbles of beetroot, carrots, apple, nuts and gastrique sauce.


Mille-Feuille of Brie and Ricotta Cheese


I quite enjoyed the Pied de Cochon on a bed of sauce gribiche, a saliva-inducing medley of eggs, pickles and capers. La Girolle’s version of Pied de Cochon, or pig trotter, is presented in a sausage-like form and placed in between two pieces of deviled quail eggs. Naughty but nice!


Pied de Cochon


Then came the Alain Soliveres-style Salt-Cured Torchon of Foie Gras surrounded by colorful cubes of caramelized fruits and vegetables. Not the usual pan seared version that I love but okay lah.


Salt-Cured Torchon of Foie Gras


The sweet and refreshing Mango Sorbet with an interesting touch of star anise prepared our palate for the Pan Seared Silver Snapper with Chicken Mushroom in Mushroom Veloute.


Mango Sorbet


Pan Seared Silver Snapper with Chicken Mushroom in Mushroom Veloute


And then we moved on to the pièce de résistance of the evening – the US Short Ribs of Beef, the dish that Berto had been raving nonstop about, and was so ecstatic to finally be able to ravage again. It was cooked sous vide for 48 hours. Imagine how extremely tender, how intensely rich in flavor. And as if the short ribs were not outstanding enough on its own, there was shallot confit, creamed watercress, and cute little béarnaise beignets to add beauty to the whole La Girolle short ribs experience.


US Short Ribs of Beef, the pièce de résistance of the evening


Just look at that Big Berto Smile Open-mouthed smile


The glasses that evening:

Gabriel Meffre Cotes du Rhone Villages Laurus 2007


Plaimont Colombelle L'Original Coeur De Gascogne 2010


Desserts were aplenty, and that couldn’t be an evil thing. We started with the very dark, smooth and sexy Delice au Chocolate topped with creamy mascarpone sorbet and drizzles of strawberry puree and chocolate cream on the side. Then the Caramelized Lemon Tart which was an explosion of everything sweet and tangy in my mouth.


Delice au Chocolate


Caramelized Lemon Tart


The Parfait of Roasted Banana–Caramel Compote was served in a martini glass with layers and layers of butterscotch, yogurt, brown sugar espuma, and salted peanut butter sable. I love the mix of sweet, sour, salty, creamy, smooth and crunchy. A good ending to a good meal.


Parfait of Roasted Banana–Caramel Compote


Mini Pear Cakes



It was the fourth day of operations when we were there for dinner. The open kitchen didn’t have glass panels yet, which of course, worked very much to my belly’s advantage.


Oxtail, baby!


The very best part



I hope the glass panels never come.


Restaurant La Girolle is open for lunch and dinner and is located at 2nd floor Bleu Sapphire Building, 30th Street and 2nd Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. Please call (02)478-4119 for reservations.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...